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100. How to Make Better Decisions
Episode 1006th July 2023 • FINE is a 4-Letter Word • Lori Saitz
00:00:00 00:24:40

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It’s a celebratory solo episode created to help you make better decisions! Welcome to episode 100! What if I told you there are no “wrong decisions?!” Yup, every decision you make is the right one.  

In this one, discover how to figure out what your deep-seated limiting beliefs are and how you can change them to create more favorable results in your life. Learn how to stop spinning in indecision and wasting time weighing every last insignificant option while darting back and forth between options like a squirrel crossing the road.

Hear what “trick” you can use today and forever more to determine what your intuition is telling you so you can make the best choice for you in that moment.

There are a couple of book recommendations and I share a few research studies on what happens to our brains when faced with too many options. When you finish listening to this one, you’ll be set for making all kinds of decisions you can feel good about!

 This week’s hype song is It’s My Life by BonJovi


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Welcome to Fine is a 4-Letter Word, the podcast that empowers you to say fuck being fine, tired of being stuck in a place where you say everything's fine. When it's really not fine at all. You're not alone. I'm your host. Lori Saitz. I've been there too, and so have my guests. Here's a secret, all it takes is a conscious decision to change and then restructure beliefs so that your actions take you in the right direction. That's where Fine is a 4-Letter Word comes in each week. You'll hear inspiring stories from people who have transformed their lives and businesses and practical tips and takeaways to move you from spinning in a place to forward action so you can create a life of joy.

Thanks for tuning in. Now let's get started. Have you ever been paralyzed with indecision, like a squirrel in the middle of the road, running one way and then the other, and then back again, unable to choose which side you wanna be on and that get there? The inability to make a decision and trust that it's the right one is the number one reason people don't make progress towards their goals.

It's what keeps you up at night feeling unaccomplished and uneasy, and it's what keeps you stuck in mediocrity. Successful individuals have foundational tools they use to make good decisions. In this episode, I'm sharing some of these tools and techniques to help you improve your life and advance your business or career.

So, Welcome to episode 100 of Fine is a 4-Letter Word. You've heard me say it before, but I am so incredibly grateful. I. For everyone who has contributed to making this show a success. From my first editor, Greg, to my second editor, Chad, to my current production team at Nova Media, all making me and my guests sound so good.

And then all of the guests who've trusted me enough to disclose their stories, many of them for the first time. How many times have you heard a guest say, wow. I've never shared that before, and if you haven't heard it on the show, I've heard it once the recording has stopped, and of course, You, my friend, without listeners, we're just talking to ourselves and not making a difference in anyone's world, I've heard from so many of you how the courage and vulnerability has inspired you to dream bigger and take risks you otherwise wouldn't and how much better your life is for having done so, which makes me so proud that I say this with tears in my eyes.

Truly. You are why I host this show. Thank you for being here and for listening every week. So grab a cupcake or the treat of your choice and celebrate this milestone with me. And while you're doing that, please leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Or your favorite platform? It feeds my ego. No, I'm kidding.

I'm kidding. Oh my gosh, I'm kidding. Sort of, no, really, it really does help others find the show. One or two sentences about what you like. Is much appreciated. Now, let's get into it.

There are three key steps to making quote unquote good decisions. Number one, figure out your values. Number two, know what you ultimately want to accomplish.

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Okay. Why did I choose that song? Because a couple of reasons. One, because I was acknowledging publicly. Maybe for the first time. Yeah, I grew up in New Jersey. All right. I've been hiding, like I've been kind of ashamed of that cuz I think a lot of times people think people from New Jersey are mean or they think of like that show, um, uh, oh my gosh.

What's the show I'm, I'm thinking of from. MTV, like they, they live down the shore. Those people were not even from New Jersey. Okay. Can we clarify that right now? No, but seriously, I, I, people from New Jersey can be, I don't know. There's a lot of characteristics that I didn't necessarily want to have associated with me, so I just wouldn't tell people that I grew up there, but I did.

In all fairness though, I got out as soon as I could. All right, enough about New Jersey, but I chose the p I chose Bon Jovi's song. It's My Life because how decisions, how you make decisions are affected by your beliefs, and your beliefs are shaped by where you come from. So that's why I chose that song one Easy Way.

Since we're talking about beliefs, one easy way to figure out what your true deep seated beliefs are, not the ones you say your beliefs are because it's what you want to believe. Like, I wanna believe this, you know, I wanna believe that there's a, this is an abundant universe and I can have whatever I want.

You may say that, and you may want to believe that, but what you truly believe, those beliefs that are actually ingrained in you and wired into your brain. The way to figure out what those beliefs are is to look at the results you have in your life because your beliefs drive your actions, which drive your results.

So if you believe deep down that you're not worthy of having money, for example, you'll likely be stuck in a job that doesn't pay you enough, or you'll struggle to get clients. You also wanna look at your top values and see if what you are doing lines up with those values. If you value collaboration and you're working alone all the time, that gives you a basis for making decisions that give you the ability to work with others.

If you value, if you value friendship and you look at your calendar and you see no time for friends. You know, you either need to schedule more time with friends or you need to reexamine if your friendships are really a top value for you. I talked about values with Nicole BZ in episode 26, and you can find a link to Brene Brown's values assessment tool in the show notes for that one.

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I am happy to chat. Another reason you struggle with making decisions is you're faced with too many options can, that causes your brain. To overwhelm and shut down. It's like it, it's like it overheats, you know, your car overheats and it just shuts down and it decreases your ability to take action. You can get stuck in what's known as the paradox of choice.

Psychologist Barry Schwartz wrote a book called The Paradox of Choice, why More Is Less. And in this book, he acknowledges that autonomy and freedom of choice are critical to your wellbeing. However, when you have too many choices, that can lead to frustration because choosing one option means that you have to give up the others.

Years ago, I. There was a study done in a food market that's come to be known as the JAM study. They found that when people were given the choice of 24 different jams to choose from, they were 10 times less likely to buy anything they were 10 times. Uh, yeah. They were 10 times less likely to buy anything than when they were given a choice of only six.

And not only did they. Not buy. If they did buy, they were less satisfied with their choice than when they had fewer choices. So how can you narrow down your choices so that it's easier to choose One? Because again, when you're, when you've got too many choices, your brain just like short circuits and you walk away and don't make a choice at all.

Which reminds me of that rush song. I don't, I can't remember the name of the song. Free, free will, maybe, I think it's called free will. If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice, all right? So, but you're not consciously, you're, you're letting choice then just fall to, um, to circumstances, and you're not taking control of that choice.

So how can you narrow down your choices to make it easier, but. Then what happens? You're still faced with the reluctance to shut down your remaining options. So let's say you have two choices. You wanna keep all the choices open. This is, this is human nature. Dan Ariely one of my favorite books of all time.

It's called Predictably Irrational. If you're watching the video of this, you can see I'm holding up the book. Predictably Irrational has a chapter called Keeping Doors Open, and he talks about how we have an irrational compulsion to keep all the doors open even when one or more of them is no longer serving us.

It's how we're wired. In the book, Dan mentions a hypothetical story about a hungry donkey, so the donkey walks into the barn. And he sees, he sees two bales of hay and equal that both bales of hay are equally delicious looking. And the donkey just stands there in the middle of the barn looking at one, one bale of hay, looking over at the other bale of hay, which one should I go to?

Which one should I eat from? And it's paralyzed in indecision, and then the donkey dies of starvation. Okay, this is hypothetical. No donkeys actually starved or were harmed. But you get the point. Okay. We, we do the same thing. He gives another example of a friend who spent months choosing a digital cam camera from nearly two.

Man, I'm having a tough time today. Ah, all right. I'm gonna be giving myself grace and just keep going here. Is it episode 100? You think I could get this right after all these episodes? All right, so he gives an example of another friend who spent months choosing a digital camera from nearly two identical models.

Think about how often you've done the same thing. You've wasted so much time deciding and driving yourself crazy, going in circles when either choice would be good. Either choice would work for you. I did it when I was choosing between apartments to live in when I moved back to Virginia. You obsess over making the wrong choice.

You catastrophize, oh God, what could happen if I don't make the absolute perfect choice? Which you logically know isn't even a thing. Perfection. Refer back to episode 98 a couple weeks ago with Jen Beck. Perfection is not the goal. So what's the solution? It comes back to your mission. What do you ultimately want to accomplish with your choice?

When I say mission, it doesn't have to be some grand and elaborate meaning of life kind of thing. Like for my apartment choice, ultimately what I wanted was a nice place to live that was safe and comfortable in an area fairly close to the city. Either of the places would suffice, and I would have been happy in either one of them.

It didn't matter which one. I could have saved myself some agonizing by picking one and moving on and spending time with the friends that I was in town to visit. You can do the same for any of the decisions you're facing right now. Write down a list of pluses and minuses for each choice, and then compare them.

If there aren't any clear factors to make you lean more strongly in one direction or the other, flip a coin. All right, listen up cuz this exercise, I presented this in the, in the, at the Badass Business Summit. And to this day I still have people coming up to me and saying this, I still use this, this decision making tool and I will probably use it for the rest of my life.

So here's what it is. Get a decision in your head. Do it right now. Okay. Get it first. Get a coin. It doesn't matter. Penny. Like, do people still, people still have coins lying around. Right? Quarter dime, nickel, penny. Doesn't matter. Half dollar. Get a coin. If you don't have a coin. You could, um, use anything that is like flat and, uh, heavy, like a coin, you know, like maybe a, a metal or something.

What's the decision that you're facing? What are the two choices you're stuck between? Pick 'em both in your head and then commit. Like choice A is heads, choice, B is tails, and you make a commitment to yourself that whichever one it lands on, that's the one you're gonna go with. Like, it doesn't matter if it lands on that one, that's what you're picking.

All right. Are you in? You got it. Pause on this until like, put a pause. Hit pause. Go get your coin. Pick your decision, come back. Alright. I will assume you have gotten it. Now you're back. Now it's time to flip your coin. You've got decision A is heads decision. B is tails right. Flip the coin. What did it land on?

What is your initial reaction when you saw it was heads and you had to. You had committed to going with choice A, if it landed on heads, what was your, what was your feeling? What was the feeling in your gut? If it landed on tails and you had committed to going with B, if it landed on tails, what was your initial gut reaction?

Some people feel in their gut, some people in their heart, where, what did you feel? Was it like, oh, yes. Or it was like, ugh. I committed to it, I'm gonna do it, but you're not super happy about it. That feeling right there, that tells you which choice your intuition would have you go with. So you are absolved from going with what you committed to.

If it landed on heads and you really felt like you wanted, you know, once you saw it was on heads and you were disappointed, you can go with tails. Cuz now you know that's what you really wanted. If it was the other way around, Again, you, you have your gut reaction and that tells you which is the choice your intuition would have you go with.

Does that make sense? If it doesn't make sense, send me a message, make a, uh, schedule a time to talk with me, and we can go over it in person. So that is one way to make a great decision. Or to make the choice. I, you know, I'm gonna talk about this in a minute about good decisions, bad decisions, but it, it allows you to make the choice that is the, the one that you feel most comfortable with by making it with your heart, with your intuition, instead of trying to rationalize and make it with your head.

Cuz that's, that's where we get stuck and get confused. Alright, lastly, Allow yourself space to get quiet enough to hear your own inner voice. You hear me talk about this all the time, right? Too many distractions, too many other people's opinions and recommendations coming at you from friends and family and media and social outlets and all the things.

Other people's opinions and recommendations. Now look at who you're taking advice from. How does their life look? Everybody wants to give you the way that you should live your life for the deci, you know, the way you should make decisions. They can't run their own lives, but they wanna tell you how to run yours, right?

No, this is not to say that you can't gather input from others, and then when it comes time to make the actual decision, Tune in to your own inner voice because you are the only one who can hear that inner truth. You are the only one who knows what is ultimately right for you. What other people think at the end does not matter.

They don't live in your mind. They don't live in your skin. You do listen to your intuition. Meditation is the best way. I know to hear that inner voice, there are a million different ways to meditate, which in my book is simply another way for making space to listen to your intuition. Meditation is, you know, everybody has their ideas about what meditation is, and there are other episodes where you can hear me talk about the myths and misconceptions around what meditation is, but it's ultimately, Making space to listen to your intuition.

Getting quiet enough to hear what your heart or your gut is telling you is right for you. That inner voice that never steers you wrong, it's when you don't listen or when you override it, that things tend to go sideways. I mentioned earlier too, about those beliefs that were wired into your brain when you were younger, that drive your actions and ultimately your outcomes.

Meditation can also help you rewire those beliefs so you can get the results you prefer to have. When you have the habit of meditating and you are open to listening and following your inner truth, you'll notice more coincidences. More synchronicities start showing up in your life, more confirmation of the quote unquote right direction to go.

And when I say the right direction, I mean the direction that contributes to your happiness, your joy, your fulfillment. No that in the end, there are no good decisions and bad decisions or wrong decisions. Whatever decision you make is the right one. Listen to that again. Whatever decision you make is the right one.

Every choice you make serves the purpose it is supposed to in your life journey. If it doesn't turn out how you expected or would've liked it, you choose again. Release yourself from the guilt and shame. Stop beating yourself up for past decisions. I follow this guy on Instagram. His name is Peter Crone.

He's known as the mind architect, and he has a quote. What happened happened and couldn't have happened any other way because it didn't. Did you get that? What happened? Happened and couldn't have happened any other way because it didn't. Use those past experiences as a basis for making future decisions.

There are ultimately only two decisions that are not changeable. What do you think they are? Alright, I won't make you wait too long. The two decisions, one is having children. Yes, you could choose to have them and then choose to give them up for adoption or let somebody else raise them. You can't stuff them back in though and make them not exist.

So you got that one and I thought that was the only one until I was talking to a friend and I don't remember who it was, but I wish I could give her credit for this. And she said, yeah, also murder. Yes, true. Also murder, not reversible. So those are the only two that you can't change once you make a decision.

Any other decision? And it doesn't work out how you would've liked or doesn't go the way you expected. You make a different choice if you choose to live in an apartment and you find out that that's not the best, that wasn't the best apartment choice, you can choose to move, you can break your lease, you can stay to the end of the lease.

There is always another option. You know, you hear people saying, well, I can't. I can't do that. What they're saying is, I don't want to. I choose not to. There are always choices. They may be not be ones you would want to take or they may not seem practical to you at the moment. I. There are always choices and the question I would come back to then is how can I or what needs to happen for me to be able to, you may have heard me also talking about the how is not our domain, so maybe it's not, the question isn't how can I, because that's the domain of the universe or God or higher power or whatever, but what needs to happen?

What can I do to accomplish this goal? What choice can I make? Who can I talk to, who can help me do whatever it is? Who and what are great questions to be asking when you're, or searching for a, an answer to what decision to make. Life is an experiment. It's made up of a whole bunch of experiences. When you boil it all down, that's all it is.

It is an experiment. So have fun. And don't make everything so life or death. What decisions have you been struggling with that you can make today? What decision? Let's not go crazy. What one decision have you been struggling with that you can make today that you can be proud of moving forward on? Maybe you can use the Flip a coin thing with it.

Or maybe it's a decision that isn't, um, that's not something that you can flip a coin on. Maybe there are more than one. Maybe there are more than two choices to make and you wanna break it down and you can use the benefits and the pros and cons list or something like that. But what decision can you make today?

And let's come back to the It's My Life song. Make decisions that are based on your truth, because that's the truth. That is the truth. It's my life. My life. I make the decisions that are best for me. And I cha I invite you and encourage you to make the best decisions. Uh, the, again, the best being the ones that bring you the most joy, the most happiness, the most fulfillment, to make the right choices for you.

Wow, it's been such a ride for the first 100 episodes. I look forward to seeing what the second hundred episodes brings. Thanks so much for listening to Find is a four letter word. If you enjoyed the show, please follow and share it with a friend. Leave a review on Apple Podcasts or your favorite platform to help others discover it too.

You can find links to my socials on my website, As always, remember you have the power to create a life you love and I'm so proud of you. Thanks for joining me, and before you go, take a moment to reflect on what you're grateful for today.




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